Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

Events to celebrate MLK Day in metro Atlanta

This year marks the 51st anniversary of King's death.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is a chance to reflect on the legacy of the Civil Rights icon who championed a non-violent moment to bring equal rights to millions of oppressed black Americans.

The King Center's theme for this year is "King's Vision: Humanity tied in a single garment of destiny."

“Our theme this year is a call to consciousness that we are all interrelated,” said CEO Dr. Bernice A. King. “These are polarizing times in our nation and around the world. We are experiencing a new, resurgent iteration of racism, tribalism and xenophobia towards our fellow man.”

This year's Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is Monday, Jan. 21. Below are some ways you can get involved and observe the day.


Service and Sips

The Archdiocese of Atlanta will host young adults, ages 18 to 40 for brunch and to assemble travel hygiene kits for those in need. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m.

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
25 Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Acts of service or kindness drop-off

The King Center will conduct a service project in partnership with Hands on Atlanta, Accenture, the Mission Continues and the Atlanta Super Bowl Hoste Committee to assemble "activity kits" for patients of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ages 13 to 18.

Participants are encouraged to donate, collect and drop off items for the kits, or drop off activity kits already assembled. Kit items* include:

  • Sudoku books
  • Word search books
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Playing cards
  • Journals

Jan. 14 through 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Monday, Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The King Center
449 Auburn Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312

*Note: Only accepting items listed

Dream Forward Awards

The formal kick-off reception to the King Center's observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, Jan. 15
Freedom Hall at The King Center
449 Auburn Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312

We've Got Next: Turning readers into leaders

The interactive book event will feature book readings, interactive activities and a book drive. The goal is to "promote literacy and service, but also fun." The event is free and open to the public. 

Sunday, Jan. 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Freedom Hall at the King Center
449 Auburn Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30312

The Martin Luther King, Jr. annual commemorative service

The annual service at Ebenezer Baptist Church is free and open to the public. This year's keynote speaker is Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson. Featured guests include Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School activist Emma Gonzales, Rev. Jentezen Franklin from Free Chapel Worship Center and Grammy Award winning artist Minister BeBe Winans. 

Monday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.
Ebenezer Baptist Church
101 Jackson St NE
Atlanta, GA 30312

Alliance Theatre Palefsky Collision Project Public Performances

Teens under the guidance of playwright Pearl Cleage and director Patrick McColery will present free readings of a new work in conjunction with King Day celebrations at both the Woodruff Arts Center and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights. RSVP for free tickets: alliancetheatre.org/collision.

Monday, Jan. 21 at 11:00 a.m. at the National Center for Civil & Human Rights


Monday, Jan. 21 at 3:00 p.m. at the Rich Auditorium at the Woodruff Arts Center


The public is invited to attend an annual celebration at Turner Chapel AME Church. The event will include the annual "Living the Dream" award, given by the Cobb branch of the NAACP. 

Monday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m.
492 North Marietta Pkwy NE
Marietta, GA 30060


35th Annual MLK Celebration

DeKalb County will present its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration program, “King’s Vision: Humanity Tied in a Single Garment of Destiny.” The celebration is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

Friday, Jan. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Maloof Auditorium
1300 Commerce Drive
Decatur, GA 30030

This list will continue to be updated. If you have an event for the King holiday you wish to submit, please email it to news@11alive.com.